By Sal Bommarito
There are only two contingencies that may prevent Donald Trump from being nominated by the Republican Party.
One scenario is that Ted Cruz wins a high percentage of the remaining delegates and defeats Trump. The other is if neither Trump nor Cruz can win a majority of delegates, and it results in a brokered convention.
Cruz isn’t expected to do well in the northern and western states unless a few recent wins creates greater momentum for him. So, the chances of him winning a majority of delegates in the primaries are slim to none.
If Trump doesn’t win a majority of the delegates, many believe he will not be elected in a brokered convention. For a brokered convention to be a possible, Rubio must win Florida, and Kasich must win Ohio. Both are home states to these candidates, and both are winner-take-all.
Trump and Cruz are dreading the eventuality of a brokered convention. This will occur if no candidate is able to amass 1,237 delegates before the first ballot. The delegates must vote based on the results of the primaries and the caucuses in the first round. Thereafter, they may vote for anyone they choose.
Given that Trump’s star is waning as the Republican establishment and wealthy donors attack him, a brokered convention would not be ideal for his candidacy. Many delegates committed to Trump currently will likely abandon him in the inevitable back room negotiations.
Cruz has too many enemies to be successful in a brokered convention. Many believe he has the lowest odds of being drafted in a later ballot.
The big question is how will Trump react? Well, there’s no reason for us to expect that the man will be loyal to the party and support another drafted candidate . Trump might opt to take the low road feeling mistreated by the party and run as an independent. This would likely give the election to Clinton, as Trump will draw many votes from the brokered nominee.
Cruz is already saying that a brokered convention is patently unfair, and that it would enable the “establishment” to usurp the will of primary voters. This is a bogus argument and self-serving given that all the delegates will be voting in a democratic forum to select a candidate. Frankly, the winner cannot be “ordained” by the party bigwigs.
So what does a brokered convention mean to the candidates? It means that neither Trump nor Cruz is going to be the Republican nominee. It’s possible that Rubio could rise from the ashes with a big win in Florida, but unlikely.
Delegates will have to find another more suitable candidate. The possibilities include John Kasich, Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney along with a plethora of other rarely mentioned names. In any case, none of the politicians that were formerly in the race would have much appeal at this point.
Ironically, the success of a brokered candidate in the general election is very dependent upon Trump. Many believe he will be the one who decides who wins. If he runs as an independent, Hillary will probably win. If he supports the brokered candidate, a Republican will be in the White House in January.
One final note. I experienced the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago. V.P. Hubert Humphrey, who had not entered any of the primaries, won in a brokered convention defeating peace activist Eugene McCarthy. The Vietnam War and huge demonstrations outside the convention center, the assassination of Bobby Kennedy and the decision of Lyndon Johnson not to run greatly impacted the political landscape.
I believe a brokered convention would generate great interest throughout the country. Unlike some, I predict that it will unify the Republican Party. The only wild card will be Donald Trump and whether he lives up to his promise to support the ultimate Republican candidate.